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Can mussels be frozen?

Updated April 17, 2017

Mussels are shellfish eaten and enjoyed in the UK, Europe and across the world. Mussels can be added to soups, eaten as starters, used in rice dishes or simply steamed. However, these shellfish must be stored and cooked properly to prevent the risk of food poisoning.

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Live mussels cannot be frozen because they will not keep properly. Although mussels should not be frozen when they are alive, they can be frozen after being cooked. Cook mussels and remove the meat from the shell. Place mussel meat in an airtight container and cover the mussels fully with the broth in which they were cooked.This storage method can help make mussels last between three and four months.


Mussels should be alive when you buy them. Similar to other shellfish and seafood, the earlier mussels are cooked the better. A mussel with a closed shell is alive. If a mussel has an open shell, tap it gently -- this should make the mussel close its shell. If the mussel does not close its shell when it is tapped, it is likely dead, and dead mussels should not be cooked. Discard any dead mussels.


Mussels should be rinsed and scrubbed in fresh water to remove dirt and other contaminants before they are cooked. Place mussels in a bowl, and cover them with a damp towel and place bowl in refrigerator with a temperature between 1C and 4.5C if you plan to store them before cooking. Cook mussels within two to three days after storage. Do not store mussels in freshwater or an airtight container because this will kill them. Oxygen must flow to the mussels.

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About the Author

Tim McQuade

Tim McQuade began writing in 1999. He has worked for two newspapers, including "The Ithaca Times," and has had a short story published. McQuade received a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Ithaca College.

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